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The globe artichoke is a perennial thistle, a member of the Asteraceae family. Along with sunflowers, daisies, marigolds, sage and tarragon, they are all linked due to their intricate flower heads.
Artichokes are extremely hardy and will grow 1-1.5 metres in height and width. The edible bud grows on the ends of long flower stalks, the plant can take up to a year to produce flower buds but they are worth waiting for.
Globe artichokes prefer a sunny spot with plenty of space, they can take over so may be worth planting in large pots, tubs or raised garden beds.
They like rich, well-drained soil. If you see their outer leaves drooping, it will be because of waterlogging during winter months or drying out in hot summers so preparation is key!
If growing in pots or tubs, choose Baileys Veg & Herb Premium Planting mix.
Maintenance & Harvest
Water regularly, adding a layer of mulch will help keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from growing, use Baileys Moisture Mulch.
Feed with a complete, organic-based fertiliser such as Baileys Soil Matters Garden, little and often every 3-4 weeks throughout the growing season.
Flower buds should be harvested before they open, cut the stem leaving a few centimetres attached to the bud. Look for plump, heavy artichokes with tightly packed leaves and firm stems.
If not harvested in time the bud will open to a beautiful, fragrant purple flower.
Artichokes are perennial, you should get up to 4 years harvest from one plant. They will develop shoots at the base that you can lift, divide, and replant.
Remove the tough outer leaves until you begin to expose the pale-yellow ones. Rub with lemon juice to stop the artichoke from discolouring, trim the base and cut in half. Remove and discard the ''choke'' (the furry part in the middle) and place in a bowl with water and lemon juice.
Once your artichokes are all prepared steam for 25-35 minutes or until the outer leaves can be pulled off easily. They can be served hot or cold, simply dipped into melted butter or aioli.